The Best of Google Nest
For the lowdown on the Google Nest rebranding, check out what that means for you right here. As you’d expect, the product bench is impressive. Today, we’ll give you a capsule overview of the best of Google Nest by category:
  • Mesh WiFi System
  • Smart Speakers
  • Smart Displays
  • Security
  • Cameras
  • Smart Thermostats
  • Streaming

Mesh WiFi System

Google Nest WiFi

Stable WiFi with no flat spots is central to an effective connected home. How does yours stand up?

If you have a larger house and you struggle to achieve blanket coverage, investing in a mesh WiFi system can yield immediate dividends. In place of a single router, you’ll get a modular system using nodes. These mini-routers hose out WiFi so no part of your home is without signal. Each node gives you coverage of 1500 square feet and this pack comes with 3 bundled. You’ll benefit from both 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi so you can get the best from each frequency. Technology baked in ensures all your devices are optimized. To get the most from your Google Nest ecosystem, you owe it to yourself to make sure your WiFi is robust enough.

Smart Speakers

If you like want to use Google Assistant’s enormous search powers and supple smart home control, do you have a smart speaker or smart display in place? If you’re not too clued-up on smart speakers, these devices are marketed primarily for the purposes of hands-free home automation. The audio side of things is typically in second place to using Google Assistant with the eminent exception of Google Home Max. Here’s the trio offered up by Google:

Google Home

If we’re honest, the original Google Home is starting to look rather dated. Google Home is the default option for many due to the narrow bench of models. If you don’t want the tinny and tiny Google Home Mini and you can’t stretch to Google Home Max’s much stiffer price tag, all that remains is Google Home. Is it any good, though? As a method of controlling other smart devices hands-free, Google Home acquits itself admirably. You’ll be able to take charge of devices from most major brands without lifting a finger. The punchy little speaker packs a 2-inch driver along with a pair of passive radiators. While this is not likely to replace your primary listening device, sound is more than fit for purpose. Pitched directly against Amazon’s regular Echo, Google Home just edges ahead in our opinion. Road test one for yourself and see what you think.

Google Home Mini

Measuring just 3.8 inches across and standing 1.6 inches high, the disc-like Google Home Mini is small enough to pop just about anywhere. As you’d expect from a speaker this small, sound quality is not the greatest. If you plan to do more than fire up the occasional playlist, you’ll need something more substantial. Those diminutive dimensions and sub-par speaker do nothing to weaken the performance of Home Mini in terms of smart home control. Take the helm hands-free and have Google Assistant do your bidding. As a device for the bedroom or as a secondary smart speaker, Home Mini makes perfect sense. It’s very kid-friendly, too.

Google Home Max

The line-topping Google Home Max is a powerful beast but is it worth the money? Well, if you’re looking to use this speaker as your main listening device, you won’t be disappointed or feeling like you’ve overspent. If you’re only planning to use the speaker as a conduit for Google Assistant, stick with the classic Google Home. Two woofers and two tweeters combine to deliver a soundscape that pulses with energy across all frequencies. Crank the volume right up and you’ll get no discernible distortion. Smart Sound onboard allows the speaker to self-optimize according to its surroundings. You’ll get a truly personalized soundscape without needing to mess around with equalizers. For powerful audio and all the smarts you’d expect from Assistant, you can’t go wrong with Google Home Max.

Smart Displays

If you’re looking for the benefits of a smart speaker with the added bonus of a screen, you’ve got a couple of options at your disposal in the Google Nest ecosystem.

Google Nest Home Hub

The original Nest Home Hub is marketed as a digital photo frame and it serves especially well in that regard. The 7-inch display lets you see your favorite collections from Google Photos rather than an idle screen. Despite the name, Home Hub does not perform any of the duties you’d associate with a regular smart home hub. Instead, you get the functionality of a smart speaker with the inbuilt kicker of that dinky display. When it comes to search, Google Assistant outperforms Alexa. You can also get help organizing your day from Home Hub. The full-range speaker serves up pretty reasonable audio to complement your streaming visuals. You’ll get no camera but, for many, that’s a benefit rather than a drawback. If you’re looking for something a little beefier, why not upgrade to Nest Hub Max?

Google Nest Hub Max

With a 10-inch screen to rival that on Amazon’s original Echo Show or Facebook’s Portal, Google Nest Hub Max is an outstanding way to video chat. Nest Hub Max comes with Nest Cam baked in giving you a valuable extra layer of security. Check in using a live feed and see what’s happening at home when you’re not there. As with all devices packing Google Assistant, you can control your smart home tech without lifting a finger or getting off the couch. Streamed content comes to live on the larger screen and Hub Max boasts solid audio, too. Whether you want your digital assistant in the kitchen or the living room, supersize things with Google Nest Hub Max.

Security

Next, a couple of security devices so you can uprate your entry system and safeguard your family against the silent danger of carbon monoxide.

Nest Hello Video Doorbell

The iconic Nest Hello Video Doorbell is a modern classic and keeps you connected with your smart home when you’re away. Slip Hello over your existing wired doorbell then see who is at the door whether you’re sitting on the couch or lounging on the beach. With crisp HD video and two-way audio, speak with your visitors and let them know if you’re on your way home. Arrange for a parcel delivery to be left with the neighbors and never miss a work client again. You’ll get alerts whizzed over to your smartphone when motion is detected. Hello is smart enough to tune out objects or animals. Check in any time with live streaming and sift back through the previous 3 hours if you’re looking to monitor suspicious activity.

Nest Protect

Sensors are certainly not the most glamorous purchase for your smart home. If they end up saving you from the ravages of fire damage, though, you’ll be glad you took proper precautions. If fire breaks out at home when you’re sleeping, you could fall victim to the smoke and carbon monoxide assailing you as you slumber. This second-generation model of Nest Protect will sound an alarm when smoke or CO2 is detected. Protect contains a split-spectrum sensor. This allows the device to pick up on both slow-burning and fast-burning fires. Get protection across the board. When you turn out the lights for the night, Google Nest’s Nightly Promise comes in the form of a brief ring of green. Sleep soundly knowing you and your family are safe and sound. Built to last up to a decade, this alarm comes in both hardwired and battery-powered versions.

Cameras

Whether you want to step up security inside your connected home or out in the yard, Google Nest serves up a number of options.

Nest Cam Indoor

Nest’s neat wireless indoor cameras have many use cases. Firstly, you’ll capture footage in the unfortunate event of a burglary. Beyond this, you can use these wireless cameras to stay connected with your kids or pets remotely. You’ll be up and running right out the box with no need for a third-party hub. View 1080p HD video with a 130-degree field of view so you can get a sweeping panorama of your living space. You’ll also be able to communicate with two-way audio. Get alerts on your phone if any unexpected motion is detected when you’re not at home. With the Nest Aware paid package, you’ll get richer functionality still for a nominal monthly fee. You’ll be able to trial this with your camera.

Nest Cam Outdoor

Further protect your connected home by installing some outdoor security cameras. Fully weatherproof, Nest Cam Outdoor comes packing night vision so you stay secure around the clock. You won’t need a hub and installation is super-simple. There’s a magnetic mount thrown in and all you need to do is plug the camera into an outdoor outlet. The high-def 1080p video is sharp and two-way audio allows for clear communication.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

The upscale Cam IQ comes with Supersight but what is this? Well, you get a 4K sensor, HDR imaging, and a digital zoom resulting in impeccably clear video. The wireless cameras are small enough to place just about anywhere. A wide-ranging 130-degree field of view ensures nothing escapes the camera’s beady eye. The standard two-way audio gives you the chance to communicate with your kids or console your pets when you’re not at home. Alerts are sent to your phone and you can also check on activity history to stay fully apprised of the comings and goings at home.

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

If you take Nest Cam IQ outside, you’ll get the same superb package but in weatherproofed form. Make sure you secure the outside of your connected home as your first line of defense.

Smart Thermostats

Uprating climate control is one of the most common entry points to home automation. Smart thermostats not only make your life easier and more convenient, you can save money by optimizing energy consumption. You have a couple options on the table with Google Nest…

Nest Learning

Nest Learning is the original smart thermostat now into its third iteration and better than ever before. If you’re disinclined to program thermostats, you won’t need to with Learning. Delivering on the promises of its name, this unit accustoms itself to your habits and preferences. You can leave climate control to Learning and go about your business instead of fiddling with dials. An elegant aesthetic and multiple colorways means there’s something to match your décor. Use either Google Assistant or Alexa for hands-free control. Aim for that green leaf to show your house is running energy-efficiently and save up to 10% on your power bills. While it’s certainly not cheap, you should consider Google Nest Learning as an investment rather than an expense.

Nest Thermostat E

If you want much of the functionality of Nest Learning at a much more affordable price point, we present Thermostat E. While the design tends to polarize opinion, if you can see past the semi-tacky looks, you’ll get a rock-solid thermostat to make your life easier and comfier. Scheduling is straightforward even if you’re not a huge tech-lover. Robust energy reporting in-app allows you to make adjustments and bring those utility bills down. We would suggest realistic savings of 10% or so are possible.

Streaming

Last but not least, Google has a heavy presence in the streaming space.

Google Chromecast

If you want to stream content from your phone to your TV, Chromecast is the obvious solution. 1080p resolution allows you to enjoy decent picture quality across all major streaming apps.

Google Chromecast Ultra

If you have a 4K TV, upgrade to Chromecast Ultra as your streaming companion. Navigate over 1000 apps and devour all the greatest content looking as good as it would on the big screen at the movie theater.

Final Word

You should now be fully aware of the many treasures on offer in the Google Nest ecosystem. Nest folding back into Google is likely to benefit you, the consumer. We feel the future is bright for this rebranded smart home titan. Bookmark our site as your go-to-resource for home automation from the best tech up for grabs to the latest smart home news. If you’re tempted by any of the Google Nest gems we highlight today, why not sign up for our email newsletter? As well as more great content, you’ll also get 20% off your first order here at Smarthome.
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